Author's Note: Thank you so, so very much for everyone who has been reading and reviewing. I know I don't answer reviews or questions, but mostly that's because I don't want to spoil anything for anyone! Yes, I'm still writing, and you have been great readers. With that said, please enjoy another chapter:
There was a black spot on the floor. Just a little, inky dot. It grew bigger in a minute, and in another minute, it was the size of a quarter. Like some two dimensional object suddenly becoming three-dimensional, the dot spread upwards, forming a mound that simply became larger, more shapely, until there was something vaguely familiar about it. It grew into the shape of a person.
This was how all Nobodies got their start. Of course, in their Somebody lives, they started as a fertilized egg, a zygote, that grew into an embryo and then a baby, as most people. Nobodies, however, didn't really grow from anything. Just the womb of darkness. It was hard to distinguish who this black form was supposed to be for a moment, but then the darkness cleared away, and two eyes, two ears, a mouth, and a nose appeared.
The door to the chamber was opened and Vexen stepped closer to the figure as the last wisps of darkness slunk to the far corners of the room. He said nothing, only snapped white gloves on up to his wrists. Dirty blonde hair, medium stature and build, blue eyes, slightly big ears. Vexen noted it all down on a clipboard.
The moment the Nobody obtained feeling in his arms and legs, he groaned and sunk to his knees. He was naked, cold, and had no idea where—or who—he was.
Vexen scoffed. "Oh, get up. You can't be so pathetic, can you?"
"I feel like jelly," was all the Nobody said. "Lots and lots of jelly."
"I need to measure how tall you are. So unless you want to be 50 cm, it would do you good to stand up," the scientist instructed.
Mumbling, the Nobody pushed himself up onto his hands and knees, and then got shakily to his feet. He noticed his hands like that—his hands were bigger than he remembered them being (not that he actually remembered anything yet), and he also knew what people said about big hands. Hopeful, he glanced a little farther down his own naked body, but was disappointed to find that his hands seemed to be the only thing that really got a whole lot bigger. Drat.
"Chin up," Vexen reminded, lips pressed thin as he noticed the Nobody scrutinizing himself. "Back straight." He pulled out a measuring tape and let it down to the ground, taking down the height. Then the rest of the measurements started, needing to get a rough idea of what kind of clothes they needed to get the new nobody.
Things started coming back to him as Vexen worked around his fidgeting. Myde. His name had been Myde. And there were many things that swam back into his head, mostly words he used to say, people he used to love, and a few embarrassing moments that he actually wished he'd forgotten about. But among the muddle of reverberating memories that weren't as important to who Myde has become, there were a few things that defined him.
Music. Ah, yes, he remembered that. He remembered why he knew his hands so well: he saw them often as he put them against the keys of a piano or as they trilled upon the brass buttons of a horn. He couldn't remember an instrument he hadn't played at least once, at least to say he'd done it. Music came from his heart; it was the fuel that made every note he played sound genuine, unrehearsed, and clear. His heart was his metronome, his reservoir of creativity.
"Where am I?" Myde asked, turning to look at Vexen properly. The man looked tired and unpleasant.
"It doesn't matter," Vexen answered. He wrapped the measuring tape around Myde's waist.
"Don't dwell on the questions. Now is not the time to ask them." Usually, Vexen liked being a know-it-all, but the Nobody was naked and he had a schedule to keep to. No time for lengthy explanations. He'd have to keep it brief if he wanted to explain anything, Vexen knew by now that he simply couldn't do that.
"My name's Myde," the Nobody said, reaching a hand out to Vexen.
Vexen flinched at the sudden movement, then grabbed the hand and stiffly placed it back at Myde's side. "No it's not. Stop fidgeting and let me work."
Frowning (oh, yes, he remembered how to make expressions, too), Myde stood still.
A few minutes later, Vexen stepped back, scribbling the last few remarks on his clipboard and sighing to blow a few strands of hair out of his face. Non-life really was a disaster. "Come with me, then. We'll get you dressed and get you a name."
"But I already have a—"
"Hush." Boots patting against the tile floor (followed by the slapping of bare feet), Vexen took him outside the chamber. It was dark out there and Myde felt his eyes to wide trying to see. He was still struggling to make out the shapes of a desk and chair and cabinets while the scientist was already rummaging through drawers and flipping through files.
Not a moment later, the sound of heavier boots could be heard coming down the hall.
Vexen was already grimacing. "Oh, for the love of…"
The door to the laboratory swung wide open and a peal of light flushed into the room. Xigbar stood in the doorway, one hand on the doorknob and one eye falling on the now illuminated naked form in the middle of the laboratory. For a second, he thought it was Vexen and had so many questions. But Vexen would have been screaming and throwing things at this point, and this boy was just staring at him like a deer in the headlights so…it had to be a New One. "Whatcha got there?" He asked.
"Oh, good," Vexen drawled, turning toward the door and trying not to wince at the light. "I need you to—"
"Oh, no," Xigbar said, putting his hands out in front of him, as if to prevent Vexen from getting ideas. "No, no. I'm not going to—"
"—just this once! You can stand to actually do me a favor, Number Two!"
"Get on your knees and then maybe we can talk about favors…"
Vexen stomped a foot on the ground, startling the new neophyte. "You're taking him to Xemnas."
For the sake of not starting a way, Xigbar finally gave in. "Fine, fine…" He stepped into the room, mostly just to get a better look at the new kid. He was cute. Kind of a twink. Sure, he'd take him to Xemnas. Maybe even take him under his wing. "You got a name there, Sparky?" He asked, coming to put an arm around the Nobody's shoulders.
Hesitant, Myde looked over to Vexen, remembering what he'd said. The scientist was glaring, so he thought it best to follow what he'd been told. "N-no?"
"No? Well, then I'll just call you 'Sparky' then, huh? Good name for now." He steered Myde along, headed for the door. "But the guy we're going to go see right now? He's going to give you a new name…"
He was named 'Demyx.'
Once Demyx had shattered into millions of pieces, it had taken a long time for the darkness to put him back together again. And yet, within the first few moments of regaining his heart and realizing that he was alive, the first thing he felt was despair. Because when he lifted his head and looked around, there was no one else there.
The first night Demyx spent alone in the hazy ruins of that abandoned world, he hadn't been able to sleep. He cried on and off, screamed to try and get the attention of any survivors left over, anything to get him out of there. But even running off into the surrounding jungle would only have him right back where he started, and he didn't know how that was even possible. It didn't take long for him to figure out that the place was steeped in magic—nothing Demyx cared to spend a long time trying to comprehend, as it was better left to people who had a passion for getting lost in their own mind.
Demyx was without company, without music. Just a small stream that trickled through the ruins and the rocks that glowed blue when he touched them in the right order. There were dozens of different symbols and carvings that it had taken him hours upon hours of looking at to get some semblance of meaning from them. And from what he could tell, this place had once been used by people to communicate off-world. It seemed so hopeless for him, though: every time he tried to venture out in a straight line, it was only minute before he was standing in the middle of the ruins again. Trapped in a world that had no beginning or end, no sense of space.
At a loss for anything to do all alone, he made a small wooden flute. Well, he actually made several, but he was clumsy and they often broke when he tripped or dropped them on accident. But most of the time, he kept himself busy with reedy melodies that drifted off into the silent, humid air around him, going nowhere and heard by nothing but his own ears. He was really, really very alone.
After speaking to Vexen, though, there was a small ray of hope. Someone out there had heard his voice and, after so long, there was a chance. Just a little chance that he might not have to spend eternity on his own. And so he waited. Vexen had made him that promise and he'd latch onto that promise.
Hours and days slurred together, and sometimes he swore he could have dreamed half the things that happened to him here. Demyx had been sitting cross-legged and staring at the ruins (as he usually did) as a blonde dog ran into the clearing. Immediately, he knew something was different, because never in all his stay here had anything moved besides him—no animals, no insects, even. As the retriever came right up to him, tongue lolling, Demyx was too excited to even breathe. "H-hey!" He said. To be honest, he would have been ecstatic for just a dog to keep him company, but as soon as he heard human voices, it was just too much.
"You came!" He cried, as he caught sight of the human forms walking through the reed grass. Before he knew who it even was, he was barreling at full-force toward them, needing to touch them before he could believe they was real.
Vexen recoiled a little, not liking the prospect of being bowled over, and, luckily, Xigbar was there to step in.
"Hey, kiddo," he said giving Demyx someone to jump at. Impressively enough, Xigbar was able to catch him, too, despite obvious lack of depth perception.
"I can't believe you're actually here!" He said, eyes lighting up as he finally felt a solid body right there. No hallucination or dream. Vexen had kept his promise, and apparently brought friends. "I can't believe it. Someone pinch me, I can't believe it's really—ow! Larxene!" Demyx rubbed at his arm.
"Sorry, couldn't resist," she simpered.
"Zexion!" Demyx reached out for the schemer, looking like he wanted to pull him in for a hug. But Zexion wasn't as happy to see Demyx as Demyx was to see him, and he ducked and sidestepped discreetly. The musician grabbed at an armful of air as Zexion kept his composure a few feet to the left.
"Yes, it's nice to see you again. I'm sure we'll have…plenty to catch up on," he said, not wanting to include himself in any sobbing or hugging fest that would follow. Doubtlessly, Demyx had been severely lonely, perhaps even severe enough to have gone a little insane with hunger for company. Zexion took it upon himself to watch for signs of clinical mental illness. It was the least he could do.
"Wowie," Demyx continued, near pulling at his hair as he turned from one familiar face to another. "Just…wow…"
"We will explain all that we can to you," Marluxia told him. "And we're going to get you out of here. Don't worry." Still holding the shard, he felt his heart swelling a little—of all the people he had found, he felt like this was the most touching. Demyx really had needed them and they had rescued him from solitude.
Demyx became a functioning member of the organization. He was a petty neophyte and no one seemed to trust him with any difficult tasks, but he soon became integrated.
The heart was a special thing, though. To Demyx (or Myde, rather), the heart was the place where a person lived. All inspiration came from that one spot inside of him, where his personality and joy concentrated. No matter what Xemnas told him…no matter what Vexen or Xaldin or Zexion claimed…his heart was still there. Not because he could feel, no. But because he still had his music.
Demyx knew darkness did not control his music like it controlled his water powers. Myde had never felt a connection to water, but the way Demyx played that sitar had spirit, which Nobodies weren't supposed to have. It was only logic, wasn't it? The others scoffed at him when he told them, but when he was alone in the evenings, all it took to make him feel like a Somebody again were a few clear notes.
Music was his heart, and even being turned into an empty shell couldn't change that.